Negotiation is not a zero-sum game!

The Art of Negotiation: Negotiation for Mutual Benefit

Last Thursday, the Hub welcomed Stefan Szepesi, negotiation expert and founder of Negotiation & Public Service based in Rotterdam, for a workshop on negotiation techniques and strategies for NGOs.

As an introductory get-to-know round, participants could share their personal experiences with challenges they have faced in the world of negotiations. A predominant concern substantialized in the form of power imbalances and difficulties to deal with perceived asymmetrical donor-fundraiser relationships.

By means of interactive negotiation simulations, participants partnered up to negotiate physically and verbally on topics related to Brexit and NGO fundraising. Individuals engaged ambitiously in the endeavour of reaching their proposed personal goal that would be hidden to the other side. The art of negotiation was hereby unveiled in the form of overcoming the dilemma between being transparent about your interests and the risk to have your honesty abused by the other side as a consequence.

Participants physically role-playing the UK-EU Brexit negotiations.

Indeed, according to Szepesi, this so-called ‘people versus substance’ (or relationship versus interest) dilemma will only find a satisfactory resolution, if negotiations are conducted on the basis of a win-win mindset, rather than a zero-sum game mentality.

This means both parties ideally seek to first listen and understand the needs of the other side before positioning themselves based on a mutually beneficial solution.

Although the workshop targeted non-profit organizations, numerous individuals with a wide range of diverse backgrounds attended. These included representatives of NGOs such as Cordaid, International Confederation of Midwives, and Your Funding Network, among others, along with students and recent graduates.

Thank you Stefan for this great opportunity to learn more about the art of negotiation! We are happy about the abundant participation and thank everybody for their engagement in the workshop!

If you missed out on this experience or you would like to participate in other thematic workshops, check out our upcoming Lunch & Learn: Fundraising Revisited – The Hidden Treasure(s) in our Existing Set-up to learn about smart and holistic ways that can stabilize funds! Or visit our Hub calendar for more interesting events. ;)